Now when it comes to making full use of the internet and its various tools to promote oneself during an election campaign, American presidential candidate, Barrack Obama is definitely a man with the master plan.
WebPages offer a great opportunity for campaigning, giving out information and, when used effectively, can host a conversation between the voter and their politician. Obama’s election campaign website is a shining example.
The homepage introduces the user to Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden and their campaign as a whole. The user is given a wide range of options from video to merchandise to registration. All a voter would ever need to know about the Obama-Biden campaign is easily and clearly accessible.
Voter registration is an essential part of the election process. If one’s supporters are not registered voters they become meaningless as they cannot change their support into the votes necessary to make it to presidency. The website enables users to register as eligible voters and to verify that they are correctly registered. They can also apply for an absent ballot and find information on political groups in their area so as to promote politically active constituents.
Lack of funding for an election campaign could lead to one’s demise. The costs of running an effective electoral campaign can be extensive. Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner said for a candidate to be taken seriously, they needed to raise at least $100 million.
The internet has proven to be an efficient means of gathering funding. It is reported that on the 16th of December 2007, Republican Ron Paul collected over $6 million through Internet donations. This is more money than any presidential candidate in US history. Obama’s website gives the user the opportunity to donate money to the campaign on a number of different pages.
In a democracy, voters are enabled to make informed decisions as to who they vote for because they have access to information about a candidate, their manifesto and views on topical issues. Obama does not rely on a media that has been called into question due to bias. He uses his website as a platform to speak to voters about issues that Americans care about. Users can read up on his views on civil rights, the economy, ethics, family, poverty, urban policy, women and of course Iraq, homeland security and foreign policy.
With the feedback application, voters can even respond, challenge and support to his ideas. He also has a blog that can be accessed through his website. As covered in a previous post, effective blogging is an important tool that can yield positive returns.
The use of video and pictures of Obama, his wife Michelle, Bilden and their supports adds a personal touch to the campaign. Michelle Obama has become an integral part of her husband’s campaign making it a great idea to include video footage of her speeches and pictures of her on the road with Biden and Obama.
With the wonders on the e-wallet, where users can purchase goods over the internet, Obama has made merchandise available on his site. One can get golf shirts, golf balls, umbrellas, pins, buttons, summer gear and accessories delivered to their doorstep within 2 weeks of odering and paying online for them.
The internet and its technologies have opened up an entire world of possibilities for communication and campaigning. Barrak Obama is one of the few politicians who have taken full advantage of this.